Forebrain sites of NPY action on estrous behavior in Syrian hamsters. Academic Article uri icon


  • Food deprivation and similar metabolic challenges inhibit estrous behavior in female Syrian hamsters. The relevant metabolic cues appear to be detected in the hindbrain, and this information is then relayed synaptically to the forebrain circuits controlling estrous behavior. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) may be one of the neuropeptides/neurotransmitters serving this function. Infusion of NPY or the Y2/Y5 agonist, peptide YY3-36 (PYY3-36), into the lateral ventricles rapidly inhibits estrous behavior in ovariectomized, steroid-primed hamsters. This experiment sought to determine the neural loci where NPY acts to inhibit estrous behavior. Steroid-primed animals received infusions of artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) vehicle, 0.024 nmol PYY3-36 and 0.24 nmol PYY3-36 in separate tests 30 min prior to testing for sexual receptivity. Infusion of 0.24 nmol, but not 0.024 nmol, of PYY3-36 reduced lordosis duration when infused into the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), the caudal part of the medial preoptic area (MPO), the anterior hypothalamus (AH) or the lateral ventricles. Placements in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and the fourth ventricle were generally without effect. These data suggest that increased endogenous release of NPY into the caudal MPO-AH-PVN continuum during food deprivation could contribute to the observed inhibition of sexual receptivity. The possible contributions of other neuropeptides and neural estrogen receptors to this action of NPY are discussed.

published proceedings

  • Physiol Behav

author list (cited authors)

  • Keene, A. C., Jones, J. E., Wade, G. N., & Corp, E. S.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Keene, Alex C||Jones, Juli E||Wade, George N||Corp, Eric S

publication date

  • April 2003